Four years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that crowdfunding and fundraising would be as integral to politics as they currently are. In 2015, fundraising is among the most important milestones for deciding the country’s fate – already, more than $377 million has been raised from donations for the presidential candidates, with sums ranging from $200 to $2700. And this is just in the very beginning of the 2016 Presidential Election.
All donations made by contributors should be revealed by the end of July, when the financial reports will be made public. However, some of the candidates in the 2016 election filed their reports earlier. And the numbers are surprising, but not so much with all the hype.
Half of the donated money is divided only between the two top dominating candidates (out of a total of 22.) It’s unsurprising that the two candidates are Hillary Clinton from the Democratic Party and Jeb Bush from the Republican Party. They are both closely related to former presidents of the U.S., and were considered frontrunners even before officially announcing their interest in the 2016 elections.
Clinton, for example, has spent almost $19 million ($18.7 million to be precise) on her campaign as of the end of June, which is still in the first stage of the elections. And this alone is more than what every other candidate has spent. The impressive amount of money went mostly toward infrastructure in the form of buildings across the country, as well as payment for the campaign’s employees.
On the other side of the barricades, Jeb Bush is spending less, but still with a bang. His expenses are primarily for consulting - approximately $3 million out of the $11.4 million earned by donors just in June.
For their opponents, people have raised a total of $176 million, which is around half the money raised by contributors.
Although almost $400 million has been raised by crowdfunding, it’s worth noting that not all 22 of the candidates for president have started their campaigns. And some of the others haven’t filed their financial reports yet.
The role of the so-called super PACs (political action committees) can’t be ignored either, even though they are legally limited as to what extent they can work with certain campaigns. In the end, they are created to actually support specific contestants instead of the other way around.
Candidates such as Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, etc. are runner-ups at this stage.